Adventures In Blogging

Allow me to disabuse you of the notion that I know a damn thing about blog design because I don’t. Ok, ok, that isn’t entirely accurate because I know a lot of things but what I don’t know is how to make that code sing for me. What I know is just enough HTML and CSS to be dangerous.

It is knowledge gained through 7.5 years of blogging. More than a few hours have been spent tinkering with things that I probably should have left alone. More than a few moments have found me smacking my forehead and cursing my curiosity and need to push the envelope.

That is because I am really good at breaking the damn blog. That is because I think that I should be able to just point, click and cut my way to building a beautiful blog.

Tonight I spent a chunk of time trying to figure out how to make this Digg Digg plugin look right but I don’t think that I have it quite as I would like it to look. It makes me think of the dancers in the video below:

Watch it and you’ll see the “star” Matt travel around the world so that he can dance with the people he encounters. If you watch it closely you’ll see that while the people are dancing with Matt most of them are doing their own thing. That is cool. I like individuality. I respect that and certainly practice that in life. Now let’s circle back and tie it into the blog.

I need all of the elements on this blog to work together. I need them to be a team. I them to do as Coach Taylor instructs, “Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose.” But that is not happening. My team is filled with too many individuals and not enough team players. So now I have to figure out how to fix that.

Now I need to sit down and figure out if maybe it is isn’t time to pay for a premium theme. This blog is important to me for a whole host of reasons. This blog isn’t just a cybersandbox for writing. It is a platform that has helped me find work. It is a platform that I want to use to find more work and to help me promote the books I am going to write.

So it is time to get a bit more serious again. It is time to take another step in my adventure and figure out what I want and what I need. It is time to figure out what it costs to get what I need and see if that includes what I want. And that my friends is what I am going to do.

In the interim I am also going to provide you with a list of recent posts because you know that you don’t want to miss any of Uncle Jack’s work.

And now if you will excuse me I need to go sleep. My folks are in cleveland and I just know that any moment they are going to call to tell me that the river burst into flames.  I probably should repeat that for the 17 long time readers, they are in cleveland. Yes, cleveland and strangely enough the world hasn’t ended…yet.

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  1. Adrienne October 6, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I understand that we get to a point and it’s time for a change. I like the little tweaks you have done to it so far. I have no doubt you’ll find the right look for you Jack.

    One thing I would like to add is I would love for you to add your Twitter ID in your tweet box. You don’t have that set up so you have no idea who is tweeting your stuff. I put your ID in because I know it by heart while others may not. Just a suggestion.

    Love the video, have seen that one a few times but always enjoyable. Thanks for doing the audio, I enjoy listening to you share your post. Nice addition Jack!

    So I’m signing off for now. I’m Adrienne and you’re not! Loved that!!! 🙂

    • Jack October 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Yes, you are right. You are Adrienne and I am not. Course I make for a very ugly woman so the world is thankful that you are her and I am not. I’ll try to fix that Twitter handle so that it is done. That is a good suggestion.

  2. Andy Phil October 5, 2011 at 12:31 am

    It’s great to learn about blogging. I didn’t know the actual concept about blogging thus this post helps me to understand lot about this…… I agree with you that this blog is significant to me for an entire host of grounds. Thanks 🙂

  3. Zach Rosenberg October 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Yo Jack – since you’re on WordPress, sky’s the limit. You need to check out ThemeForest and yes, probably pay for a theme. That’s not bad news because you can get one on ThemeForest for cheapsies. Like, $35 cheap. Then they’ll either have built-in plugins for you to tweak, or you can install more. And on ThemeForest, I believe you get to ask the author of the theme questions, so if you need to add an element, they can probably help you figure it out.

  4. NinaBadzin October 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Jack, I’m always tinkering, but in the safe mode of, which really is limited. I assume some day I’ll “graduate” to a more advanced blog platform, but it scares the crap out of me! It’s almost been a year since I started (it was nov 2010.) You were one of the first people I “met” and I appreciate your support so much!

  5. BruceSallan October 1, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Make that 18 long-time readers, JB!

  6. Leon October 1, 2011 at 8:41 am

    G’Day Jack,

    Y’know, I believe that to be successful in business you must have a clear, narrow, specific business focus and a clear narrow specific target market. I see lots of blogs. And I wonder whether bloggers should apply those same rules to their blogs.

    A bloke called John Howard was our Prime Minister for over 10 years from the mid 1990s. He was succesful, if not necessarily very popular. Last year he published his memoirs, “Lazarus Rising.” This title was a reference to the fact that the pundits repeatedly wrote him off as a political force and he “came back from the dead” spectacularly well.

    “Lazarus Rising” has become far and away the best selling political memoir ever published here. There’s even a new edition covering the period 2007-present, after Howard retired. Perhaps the most astonishing thing is that everyone comments on how easy the book is to read.

    When asked about this recently, John Howard said., “If people can’t understand what I write, I’ve failed.” And Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

    Now aint they “words to live by” for all we bloggers?

    Make sure and all that… Leon

    • TheJackB October 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      @Leon Leon, I think that a lot of bloggers could be well served by having a more specific focus than they do. One of the challenges that many face is a lack of understanding about why they are blogging. They are doing just because…

      That is not necessarily a bad thing but it doesn’t lend itself to making life easier as a blogge.

      Many of us know of John Howard here. He seemed like quite the character.

  7. BetsyKCross October 1, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Yesterday I messed with my blog because there were some cool things to play with that didn’t work. And I stressed trying to restore it to the original. That didn’t work either. I just get tired of looking at the same thing all the time. I love reading about blog layout over at rdempsey ‘s. Made a lot of sense to simplify: .Anyways, good luck to you. Have fun.

    • TheJackB October 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      @BetsyKCross I understand what you mean. sometimes I just get bored with a look and want to change it. I have tried to restrain that urge so that I wouldn’t have too many moments of cursing because I broke the blog.

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